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T H U R S D A Y
There was a time in South Africa when most artistic expression was examined more for political content than aesthetic merit. For many, music was a political statement, and for none more so than for Johnny Clegg, a White South African who paired up with Zulu Sipho Mchunu to form Juluka two decades ago. As the first interracial group in South Africa, Clegg and Mchunu naturally garnered attention and controversy—perhaps less for their music than for their playing together at all. Now that the two are newly reunited in this post-Apartheid world (they split in 1985), it’s possible to listen to Juluka with less of an ear for protest and rebellion. It turns out to be quite refreshing. Rooted in the danceable exuberance of mbaqanga (“township jive”), with threads of reggae, traditional Zulu and Celtic sounds, and western pop running throughout, Clegg and Mchunu’s is a rich fabric that reflects the strengths of many cultures. At 8:45 p.m. at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $20. (202) 393-0930. (Eric Payne)